Different types of commercial building surveys explained

The different types of surveys available all serve different purposes; and the survey you need will depend on the project or condition of your property.

Commercial building surveys help assess the condition and structural integrity of a commercial property, helping stakeholders make informed decisions about the building.

Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, we have outlined some of the most important and popular commercial building surveys below.

Schedule of Condition

Typically produced prior to the start of a commercial lease, a Schedule of Condition (SoC) is a detailed and comprehensive report describing the existing condition of a property at any given time.

This type of service can be required by commercial landlords or tenants, helping to limit the tenant’s repair obligations at the end of a lease. However, a SoC can also be used to record the condition of a commercial property before works are carried out.

A Chartered Building Surveyor will conduct the Schedule of Condition, generating either a clear photographic report or a full detailed report with minimal images.

Dilapidations Survey

Usually undertaken towards the end of a commercial lease, a dilapidations survey (also known as a Schedule of Dilapidations) is used to identify the tenant’s repair liabilities and costs to bring the property back to its pre-let condition.

This service is typically required by commercial landlords to ensure they are not paying for damages left by the tenant, delegating responsibility fairly. Regarding health and safety, an interim Schedule of Dilapidations may be drafted during the tenant’s lease to cover property maintenance issues.

Similarly to a Schedule of Condition, a dilapidations report can be conveyed as an in-depth report or tailored to be more visual than text heavy. Either way, a Chartered Building Surveyor will be able to carry out a dilapidations survey for you.

Reinstatement Cost Assessment

This list is by no means in order of importance, but if it was a Reinstatement Cost Assessment would be up there as a huge priority for commercial property owners.

A Reinstatement Cost Assessment (RCA) is a professional evaluation of the estimated cost to rebuild, replace or repair a commercial property in case of a loss. Considering factors such as the size, type, and complexity of the property, an RCA can be undertaken by a Chartered Building Surveyor.

The assessment provides an accurate estimation of the financial resources required to rebuild or repair the property. Without an RCA, property owners run the risk of underinsuring their building.

Measured Surveys

As a commercial property owner, you may be considering extensions, conversions, or other upgrades that will involve construction works. This is when a Measured Survey can be vital for your plans.

Measured Surveys provide an accurate detailing of the property, recording its current shape, size, and dimensions. This record can assist commercial landlords with drawings and other building designs, ensuring any new additions meet their specific requirements.

A Chartered Building Surveyor will ensure any construction projects adhere to the latest Government guidelines and building regulations, so you don’t get in hot water with your construction project!

Technical Due Diligence

For those looking to buy or invest in a commercial property, a Technical Due Diligence survey is often advised as part of the purchasing and due diligence process.

Also known as a Pre-Acquisition Survey, a Technical Due Diligence Survey outlines any legal requirements associated with the property and other statutory matters - alongside an expert overview of the property’s current condition.

The surveyors report may also include information regarding mechanical, electrical, and environmental issues for the buyer to consider before a sale is agreed. This provides transparency for the prospective purchaser, ensuring they are aware of any risks associated with the property.

Planned Preventative Maintenance

Planned Preventative Maintenance surveys should be another priority at the top of every commercial landlord’s list. It can provide a sense of clarity and peace of mind, which could be particularly helpful in the current financial climate.

A Chartered Building Surveyor will inspect and assess every aspect of your property, including the grounds and its surrounding areas, providing you with a comprehensive analysis of their findings.

They will be able to inform you of any works or maintenance that will need addressing over the next five or ten years (depending on the trajectory you choose) so there’s no unexpected costs or works needed down the line.

With budgets in mind, the report then allows Facilities/Estate/Asset Managers to plan ahead and keep on top of running costs, ensuring the property is kept in good working order.

Project Management

Project Management is the systematic planning, execution, and oversight of a construction project, with the aim of achieving specific objectives within defined constraints such as time, budget, and scope.

A Chartered Building Surveyor can be your Project Manager, overseeing the entire project from the planning phase through to completion, engaging with third parties to bring your construction ideas to life.

Commercial landlords often oversee multiple properties and need to ensure that maintenance, renovations, and tenant buildouts are executed efficiently and cost-effectively. Project Management helps streamline these processes by providing a structured framework for organising tasks, allocating resources, and tracking progress.

It ensures that projects are completed on time and within budget, reducing downtime and maximising the property's revenue potential. Moreover, effective Project Management enhances tenant satisfaction, attracting and retaining high-quality tenants, ultimately boosting a landlord's profitability and long-term success in the competitive commercial real estate market.

Who are we?

Our team of Chartered Building Surveyors work closely with estate agents, landlords, lenders and local authorities across London and the South Coast to proactively navigate a changing horizon. From ensuring new projects are delivered on time and in budget, to delivering upgrades on behalf of councils.

Read more about our solutions here:

Reinstatement Cost Assessments

Technical due diligence

Project management

Dilapidations consulting

Cost management

Monitoring Surveying

Party Wall

Contract Administration

Planned Preventative Maintenance

Alternatively, email us at enquiries@sillencehurn.co.uk or call our Southampton team on 02380 014786 or London at 020 3143 2128.

If you're looking for the next steps in your career why not check out our latest opportunities and see if we align with you and your values!

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